Last week, we discussed the select few supplements that are actually useful and safe for an athlete.
This week, let’s look at some common supplements that you should flat-out avoid.
Pre-workout supplements have been the craze these past few years – being touted as products that can transform your training and provide endless energy for your workouts.
In reality, they’re nothing more than an overpriced combination of sugar, amino acids (AKA broken down protein), and stimulants.
Some pre-workout products have such an insane amount of caffeine in them that athletes can actually fail their drug tests. (Yes, there are limits on how much caffeine an athlete can take.)
Prioritize sleep and eating enough food, and you should have enough energy to workout.
This kind of product is yet another expensive combination of cheap ingredients. Usually comprised of various sugars and proteins, the idea behind weight gainers is to give an athlete enough calories to gain weight.
Before resorting to a weight gainer, an athlete looking to gain weight would be better off having calorically-dense whole foods. Whole milk, eggs, cheese, and starches (rice, potatoes, etc.) cooked in healthy fats such as butter or coconut oil are a few examples of calorically-dense staples one should have in their diet.
If an athlete still struggles to gain weight, a homemade weight gainer can be helpful. You just need the right combo of protein, fat, and carbs. One common concoction is the following: whole milk, protein powder, bananas, and peanut butter. Dense & delicious.
Fancy “Supercharged” Creatine
Last week we discussed the merits of creatine.
Plain ol’ creatine monohydrate – the cheap and widely available form that was used in all the scientific studies – is all you need if you want to use creatine.
Don’t be fooled by all the creatine supplements out there, though!
Creatine monohydrate is cheap, provides modest benefit, and is not a complete game changer.
Any product that claims to be a “superior” form of creatine and carries a premium on the price tag, is a complete waste of money.
When considering supplementation, make sure to avoid these three that at best are a waste of money, and at worst, can harm your health.